- On Capitol Hill
- On Wall Street
- In the Press
- Policy Reform Work
Our projects are designed to empower policy makers to create positive change. With a focus on collaboration and outreach, we provide original, standards-based research on key policy issues.
SCEPA joined with the Economic Policy Institute on Capitol Hill to brief congressional staff and policy experts on tax expenditures, or incentives given through the tax code without scrutiny by Congress.
SCEPA economists are working on the prospects for a more progressive economic order to emerge from the shock of the recession. They have published papers and documents that place current events in a longer-term context as well as policy proposals to deal with short-term concerns. They are also documenting the emerging discussion of how the discipline of economics is reacting to the Great Recession and the questioning of conventional economic analysis.
Lance Taylor, a SCEPA Faculty Fellow, presents an overview of his new book, Maynard’s Revenge, in a Google Tech Talk.
The book, published this November by Harvard University Press, is a timely analysis of mainstream macroeconomics, posing the need for a more useful and realistic economic analysis that can provide a better understanding of the ongoing global financial and economic crisis.
The government spends $143 billion through tax breaks in an effort to expand pension coverage and security. Yet, over half of the American workforce does not have a pension. Retirement insecurity hurts business plans, workers’ lives and retiree well-being. Reform is needed.
SCEPA’s Guaranteeing Retirement Income Project, sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation and in collaboration with Demos and the Economic Policy Institute, has a plan to guarantee safe and secure retirement income for all Americans.
California is one step closer to adopting pension reform based on SCEPA director and national pension expert Teresa Ghilarducci's State GRA program. Linda Stern in her Reuters article and John Ortiz in his Sacramento Bee article both report that the California State Senate has proposed a bill that would require businesses with five or more employees to enroll them in a new "Personal Pension" defined benefit program or to offer an alternative employer-sponsored plan. The new system's investments would be professionally managed by CalPERS or another contracted organization. Employees would contribute about 3 percent of their wages through a payroll deduction, although they could opt out of the plan. Employers could make voluntary contributions into the fund.
SCEPA senior fellow Jeff Madrick is launching a project with the Roosevelt Institute entitled "Rediscovering Government". The initiative will employ research, public conferences, and a communications strategy to develop a new narrative about the purpose and vale of public action to counter the anti-government language, attitude, and policies that have dominated American politics for a generation. To learn more, see the Rediscovering Government Program Overview
George Skelton's column in today's LA Times announces "A Retirement Plan for the Forgotten." This new plan, introduced in the California State Senate by Senator Keven DeLeon, would create a pension plan for California’s private sector workers that do not have access to a retirement plan through their employer. This personal pension program would be a not-for-profit, low-cost and universally portable retirement plan for the millions of Californians that do not have a workplace retirement plan.
The legislation is co-sponsored by Senate Leader Darell Steinberg. "It's a very important bookend to the pension debate," Steinberg says. "The debate in society is 'Why should some folks get a [traditional pension] when the majority no longer do?' This asks a different question: 'Why shouldn't we strive to bring everyone up to a reasonable and decent level of retirement security?'
The plan is based on SCEPA's "State GRA" proposal, authored by labor economist and retirement expert Teresa Ghilarducci. The proposal was also recently endorsed in New York City by City Comptroller John Liu.